Archive for the ‘Radio’ Category

Wake-up call

May 11, 2019

Hey! Who shit on my radio?

Ho, ho. Robinson Meyer at The Atlantic examines NPR’s new “Morning Edition” theme and finds it wanting.

He’s not the only one. Composer Timo Andres and jazz singer Theo Bleckmann had thoughts as well.

“For me, it was so reminiscent of childhood, of car rides to school,” Andres told me later of the old theme. “Even though, objectively, it sounds like an artifact from a universe where Steely Dan was co-opted into writing state-propaganda music.”

The new theme, meanwhile, was summarized more pithily by Bleckmann. “Yeah, it sucks,” he said.


But what do you expect when you commission a committee to compose your theme song?

Robert A. Heinlein was wrong about a lot of things, but he was right on target when he noted that a committee was “a life form with six or more legs and no brain.”

And yeah, the new theme: It sucks.

San Luis

October 17, 2018

Apropos of nothing in particular we have this lovely Andy Mann video in which the country around the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve serves as the stage for “San Luis,” by Gregory Alan Isakov.

I stumbled upon this at NPR’s “World Cafe” while clambering down various rabbit holes, hoping to escape the wind.

The ‘Scoop’ on burros and autism

January 14, 2017
The latest book from Hal Walter on fatherhood, autism and the outdoors.

The latest book from Hal Walter on fatherhood, autism and the outdoors.

My man Hal Walter is on something of a virtual whirlwind tour of the digital media landscape.

Hal recently discussed burros, autism and “Nature Deficiency Syndrome” with the folks at the “Stable Scoop” podcast. He comes in around 21 minutes into the show to talk about how he has tried to share his love of burro racing specifically and the outdoors in general with his son, Harrison.

You can also catch Hal on “The Outspoken Cyclist,” from longtime friend of the DogS(h)ite Diane Jenks. Hal’s segment begins at 26:44.

Give him a listen in both places.

Power to the pee-pole!

May 1, 2016

RFD-BugI was casting around this morning for some appropriate socialist content to post on International Workers Day, but May Day 2016 seems light on revolutionary news.

So instead, here’s the latest edition of Radio Free Dogpatch, in which the proletariat (portrayed by Mister Boo) is oppressed by his bladder.

And remember, kids: When you’re smashing the State, don’t forget to keep a smile on your lips, a song in your heart, and a mop within reach.

Useful links

• Manzano Animal Clinic, which did the surgery.

• The New Orleans Jazz Festival, which did not.

• Elvis Costello. This Elvis has mos def not left the building.

• Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Good God, are they still at it?

• Recipes: None worth mentioning this week. Whenever Herself hits the road, I generally give myself a break from semi-elaborate cookery.


Soccer to me

December 6, 2013

RFD-Logo-12062013I’ve put my foot in it again — this time, the target is a pro soccer franchise that needs a million-dollar kiss on the lips before it will screw the sports fans here in Bibleburg.

Yes, yes, yes — it’s your Finally Friday installment of Radio Free Dogpatch.

• Editor’s note: I’m in the process of moving Radio Free Dogpatch from its home at the old Mad Dog website to the podcast host Libsyn. Once the transition is complete, if you’re interested — as I appear to be, for no justifiable reason — you should be able to subscribe to RFD via iTunes. I think. I hope. I’ll keep you posted.

Black Friday or Blue Christmas?

November 29, 2013

rfd-logo-2-xsYes, it’s another edition of Radio Free Dogpatch!

The Adorable Care Act

November 22, 2013
Radio Free Dogpatch first "aired" in November 2005, then promptly swirled down the Loo of History. It's back now, God help us all.

Radio Free Dogpatch first “aired” in November 2005, then promptly swirled down the Loo of History. It’s back now, God help us all.

Herself and I have been enjoying a spirited round of “Spin the Pickle” with the pirates at Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield, a Borg-like amalgamation of drones, robots and faceless voices that has shown a distinct lack of interest in paying our dental claims, though we notice it cashes the premium checks with no lack of alacrity.

We’ve had three valid claims denied this year — one for Herself, two for me — and generally by the time we jack-hammer the last one through the series of wormholes they jovially call their “customer service” system, it’s time for the next appointment. Makes a fella really glad that his dentist isn’t the dude from “Marathon Man.”

So, since (a) it’s too cold for a ride, (2) I’m sick of harassing the fuckers via phone, email and Twitter, and (c) I would rather do just about anything other than ride the stationary trainer, it seemed a fine day for potting up the volume over at Radio Free Dogpatch.

It’s one you can really sink your teeth into.

• The Radio Free Dogpatch archives

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat

November 16, 2013
"Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat" was the title of one of Bill Watterson's "Calvin and Hobbes" collections. It's also a pretty apt description of Turkish.

“Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat” was the title of one of Bill Watterson’s “Calvin and Hobbes” collections. It’s also a pretty apt description of Turkish. When he’s awake, anyway.

The Hobbes to my Calvin enjoys a snooze in the sunshine.

Speaking of which, were you aware that there’s a documentary about Bill Watterson and his creations? True fact — “Dear Mr. Watterson” premiered yesterday, and NPR carried an item about it this morning.

“Calvin and Hobbes” is one of my favorite strips.  I have a dozen or so of Watterson’s books, and tried to get an interview with him back when I worked for The New Mexican (through a minion, he declined, as he does pretty much any invitation to chat with the press; smart fella).

I made the mistake of listening to the NPR piece, and now I’m going to have to thumb through a few of Watterson’s books, goddamnit. If you’d like to take a bumpy trip down memory lane on your toboggan, with your best friend for company, you can read “Calvin and Hobbes” online at

This Bibleburgian Life

October 13, 2013

This American LifeHow often do you get to hear Ira Glass say “cocksucker?”

Never, that’s how often. Unless you happened to be in the audience last night as the “This American Life” host chatted amiably with a packed house at the Pikes Peak Center in Bibleburg.

Glass was recounting a back-in-the-day mishap at NPR that let the C-word through and onto the air, an oh-shit moment good for an FCC fine of a quarter-mil’ per station. Seems a board jockey who was a little slow on the trigger missed the target, instead bleeping a subsequent word, which caused an authority figure to ring up to inquire acidly what word did get bleeped, since “cocksucker” seemed to have become acceptable on-air usage.

The late, lamented George Carlin would have been proud, as Glass also deployed “fuck” (which apparently slipped into our local airwaves during a chat with someone at Radio Colorado College; “dick,” which the lawyers got all hard over while TAL was preparing to air a story in which an interviewee used it as a synonym for “jerk”; and “turd,” which actually appeared in an early David Sedaris bit, but could never make it on-air today thanks to a tightened federal leash, courtesy of Janet Jackson’s loosened bodice.

Sedaris reworked the piece as a poem, claiming that would make it art and thus inviolable, but the feds disagreed, so Glass played it for us from the stage. I ’bout shit myself laughing.

If you’ve never seen Ira Glass in person, I urge you to do so at your very next opportunity. The man has a gift for gab that any Irishman would envy.

He said his parents were “the only Jews who didn’t like public radio,” and had hoped their son would become a doctor, “because … well, we’re Jews.”

When TAL was in its larval stage, Glass said, the idea was to “take the whiff of broccoli” out of the standard NPR news model.

And all these years later, he said, the staff is still focused on those stories that hit them like a bolt of lightning, which doesn’t always happen; a lot of seemingly great ideas never make it to the air.

But that’s part of the job, because to get hit by lightning, Glass explained, “you have to spend a lot of time walking around in the rain.”